Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the due date to file returns (Real Property, Business Personal Property, Marine, & Aircraft)?
Returns must be filed on or before April 1 each year. Returns filed on April 1, must be postmarked by April 1st to be considered timely.  Pitney Bowes or other metered mail date stamps will not suffice.

Who determines the value of my property for tax purposes? 
The Chatham County Board of Assessor’s (BOA) appraisal staff determines and makes recommendations to the BOA.  The Board of Assessors approves the values.

How does the Assessor’s Office determine the value of my house? 
The appraisal staff gathers and verifies property characteristics such as age of the home, square footage, bed and bath count, exterior covering, and type/quality of construction.  The staff then utilizes the three approaches to value, cost, market and income to determine a value.

I measured the rooms of my house and came up with much less square footage in terms of living space than the Assessors’ Office has listed.  What should I do? 
The Assessors’ Office calculates the square footage by measuring the exterior perimeter of the home.  It is that measurement that your assessment is based upon, not what you might consider to be inside “living space.”

I disagree with my appraised value.  Can I appeal?
Appeals can only be filed in response to an Annual Assessment Notice. When you receive your Notice you will have 45 days from the Notice Date displayed on the form to file your appeal. 

When do I appeal my motor vehicle assessment if disagree with the value?

  • Ad Valorem "Birthday Tax" and TAVT: 45 days from the deadline date for the payment of the tax.

Where do I file my motor vehicle appeal?
Appeal forms are available for dowload on the Forms page and are accepted at the following locations:

How do I appeal my non-homestead mobile home assessment if I disagree with the value?

  • Appeals must be filed with the Board of Assessors by written letter or by using the standard appeal form provided (See Forms page)
  • Appeals must be filed by mail or hand-delivery only
  • Appeals are due by April 1st, or within 45-days of the printed date of the tax bill, or whichever occurs later to be considered timely.

What kind of information can I provide to help the appeal process work better?
We invite you to provide current sales transaction information, photographs of similar properties that have sold recently, or any other information you would like for us to consider such as leases or income information.

What operating expenses are not allowed?
The following unallowable expenses include but are not limited to depreciation, debt service, income taxes, capital improvements and owner’s business expenses are not allowed.  Property taxes are not allowed as this legitimate expense is accounted for in the capitalization rate.

What if the property is owner-occupied and no lease exists?
The rental rates and terms can be estimated from other comparable properties.

What is a Homestead Exemption?
An exemption approved by the Georgia voters that exempts from taxation a specified amount of assessed value of your owner occupied dwelling.

I just bought a new house and need to file for homestead exemption.  When do I do this?
You may apply for exemptions year-round, however, you must apply by April 1 to receive the exemption for that tax year.  Any application received after this date will not be processed until the next tax year.

What do I need to bring to the Board of Assessors to file for homestead?
Valid Georgia Drivers License or Georgia ID card, current utility bill in applicants name and current vehicle registration.

Where do I go to file?
222 W. Oglethorpe Avenue.  We are located on the 1st floor of the Pete Liakakis Government building in suite 113.               

What should be reported as Business Personal Property?
Business Personal Property includes all property owned by a business that is movable in nature.  Examples would include furniture, fixtures, machinery, equipment, and inventory.   Assets attached to Real Property in such a way that they may be moved without causing undue destruction of the Real Property it is attached too would also be considered Business Personal Property.  Common examples of this would be business signage and cell phone towers. 

What is Freeport Exemption Inventory?
Freeport Exemption Inventory is a Business Personal Property exemption available for Georgia Manufacturing or Production Businesses and Wholesale or Distribution Businesses.  Below is a brief description of qualifying inventory for each:

  • Georgia Manufacturing or Production Businesses
    • Raw Materials, Goods In Process
    • Finished Goods held less than 12 months as of January 1
  • Wholesale or Distribution Businesses
    • Finished Goods Destined for Out-of-State Shipment as of January 1

Do I have to apply for Freeport Exemption each year?  If so, what is the due date?
Yes, an application for Freeport Exemption must be filed for each year.  The due date to apply and receive 100% of the full exemption is April 1.   Late filings are eligible for partial exemption as follows: 

  • April 2 – April 30 (66.67% of full exemption)
  • May 1 – May 31 (58.33% of full exemption)
  • June 1 (50% of full exemption)
  • After June 1 (0.0% of full exemption)

Are blank forms available online?
Yes.  Various forms for Real Property and Personal Property are available on our Forms for Download page

Disclaimer:  This tool is not intended to be all inclusive and may be subject to change or updated.